Remove officers wearing poppies

A West Belfast Victims campaigner, Mark Thompson, has called for action over PSNI officers wearing poppies:

“It’s time for decisive action on the part of the PSNI chiefs – remove the poppies or remove from West Belfast those who refuse to remove their poppies.”

  • Sammy, I think the point is they shouldn’t be wearing anything other than their issued uniform.

    So, you think Gaelgoir PSNI officers should be banned from wearing the fáinne, then?

    Banning the poppy or the lily is much like banning the headscarf – it does nothing to get to the root of the problem and instead politicizes individual self-expression and belief in a manner that only exacerbates division.

    Eunice – well said.

    HOWEVER it really galls with a lot of us in the Northern Catholic Community when we see sunglassed Loyalists and cowardly Unionist politicians lecturing us about Remembrance and laying wreaths

    To be fair, Lurig, it annoys a lot of Northern Prods too.

  • Steve

    Good post Eunice

  • Cahal

    “So, you think Gaelgoir PSNI officers should be banned from wearing the fáinne, then?”

    Yes, isn’t that blindingly obvious from my post? It’s called a uniform for a reason.

  • CS Parnell

    Good points Mike agus Greagoir.

    The history of the island is not one of pure people overthrown by strangers, but of mixture and admixture.

    I always knew that one side of my fmaily had a strong protestant background but also thought that the otherside was pure Donegal muck savage. Turns out not so – some oul prod ran off to marry a Catholic girseach in the late 18th or early 19th century. So looks like I’m pretty much tainted.

    The one thing that doesn’t taint me is how relatives fought the Nazis (one was also in WW1 but he deserted and ended up in the Free State Army!). Fighting Nazis is a thing to be proud of.

    I also think fighting the fascist Taliban or al-Qu’ida is also something to be proud of and I bet Gerry hasn’t the balls to go to Washington and boast of how he’s organising a demo against it.

    As I said, I don’t wear a poppy and nor will I be there to cheer the RIR. But I respect the rights of others to do so – especially if they respect my rights.

    I’m an Irish nationalist, not a bigot making excuses for fascism.

  • Danny O’Connor

    a poppy is a plant in the same way that shamrock is a plant-entirely incapable of making a political statement-it is others who do that.

  • George

    “sorry that’s not how human rights work….but it would take a court to rule on this one as its a complex balance.”

    That’s exactly how rights work, human or otherwise. You contract away your right to do certain things when you join a police force, including what would be considered basic human rights such as the right to strike. Or do you think the right to wear a poppy is a more important “human right” than the right to strike?

    In the Irish Republic and most western democracies you also contract away your right to wear emblems or symbols on your uniform.

    This issue of rights enters the equation when a police force allow one officer to wear a symbol such as the poppy but refuses another to wear a different symbol that is of relevance to them.

    As I said, I find it very strange officers are allowed wear poppies, not least because of all the other potential symbols it could allow officers to wear.

  • In Soviet Russia

    Poppies remove officers wearing you

  • astm23

    I believe the poppy is a valid symbol, used in many countries, to remember their war dead. The difficulty here is that it has become a political symbol – used by Protestants/Loyalists and not normally worn by Catholics/Nationalists. I think the makers of X Factor were politically unaware or naive when they chose this as their named charity, and I think Britain as a whole has never understood Irish politics. I believe Irish celebrities are placed in a very difficult position, as to not wear the poppy (as is their right) is seen as anti-British. The problem is that to wear it seems anti-Irish. This does not mean that anyone who does not wear a poppy supported the IRA or INLA, just that they see themselves as Irish and are aware of the sensitivities of those who have been harmed by British forces. So we need a little more understanding from both sides – those who see themselves as pro-British should not be forced to wear the Easter lily, those who are pro-Irish should not be pressured to wear the poppy. Eoghan Quigg is a 16 year old Catholic from Dungiven. Under normal circumstances I doubt very much that he would choose to wear a poppy; therefore he must have been advised to wear it so as tio avoid losing support from those voters who do not understand. Nadine Coyle was also right to not wear a poppy if she didn’t want to.